A guide to topicals.
A beginner's guide to Topicals
The 2018 Civilized Culture Poll interviewed over 1,600 U.S. and Canadian cannabis consumers. Results revealed that 28 percent of Canadian and 33 percent of U.S. respondents expressed interest in trying topicals.
How does a topical work?
We naturally produce endocannabinoids in our bodies and use them to help fight things like inflammation. When the body has a difficult time providing endocannabinoids on its own, supplementing with cannabis can encourage the natural immune system.
Infused balms, salves, and lotions are a great introduction for anyone who’s remotely interested in learning about the potential benefits of cannabis or hemp for pain relief.
Topical products most commonly activate within the first 10-20 minutes and tend to stay active for approximately 2-4 hours. There are currently no human studies evaluating the dosage or concentration of topical cannabinoids, so as with most cannabis products, some exploration on the part of the user will occur.
Will I get high from a topical?
The majority of the body is non-receptive to the psycho-activity of THC. THC becomes psycho-active when it enters the bloodstream; through ingestion, inhalation, or application to eyes, mouth or bathing suit areas.* This means that it is possible to receive a psychoactive effect when using medicated lubricants, as they are typically applied to areas of the body with mucous membranes.
Keep reading to learn about the different infusion methods and why you would choose a lotion of a salve!
Remember to wash your hands after applying an infused topical to ensure that there is no accidental cross-over by touching your eyes, nose, mouth (etc) after the application.
*Note there are patches available in some states that contain chemicals that allow THC to enter the bloodstream.
***Keep in mind that while you may not experience the psycho-active effect, we can not guarantee that you would pass a drug test: Accidental cross-contamination means it is possible. Therefore, it is always a good idea to practice caution if you know that you will be coming up against in a drugs test.
Factor's to consider when choosing your Topical:
CBD vs. THC topicals
When trying to choose the right topical for you, the sheer number of options out there on the market can be overwhelming. CBD is sweeping the nation, and some are forgetting that THC medical research is what brought our industry to the point it is. It’s important to remember that each cannabinoid excels in slightly different manners, though there is a general overlap. Research is, of course, ongoing and incomplete.
We have provided some links below so you can learn why you would choose one instead of the other. Many pain issues stem from a combination of these factors- causing some patients to opt for topicals that have balanced ratios of THC and CBD to receive the benefits of both cannabinoids. Experience can vary from person to person, and with research incomplete- we encourage you to always ask your budtender. We can’t make any promises, but we may be able to help get you started on the right path.
Choosing an infusion method- Oil, Lotion, Salve?
With any topical, whether it be cannabis, hemp or peppermint, consistency is an important factor to consider as well.
Oil-based topicals tend to penetrate the deepest through our skin- making it ideal for deeply embedded issues, as well as hips, thighs and backs (where there is more fatty tissue to get through).
Salves penetrate deeply enough to be more ideal for places like elbows, knees, necks and shoulders. Because they also have a vapor seal- it could be a good choice for someone trying to fight difficult skin conditions.
Lotions are more frequently chosen by people who are looking to use them on their hands, feet, or faces. None of these areas require a very deep penetration, and consumers prefer less oily options in these areas.
Note that a little can go a long way, just cover the area, don’t smother the area. Many patients will get halfway through their topical and begin to be more sparing, only to find that’s all they needed to begin with.
Wondering what kind of Topicals we carry? Visit our menu here.
Topicals normally take effect in the first 10-20 minutes and last approximately 2-4 hours.
You should not feel high on a topical unless you touch your eyes, nose, mouth, ears or private areas without first having washed your hands.
Choosing the right ratio of CBD to THC, and infusion method will play a major role in the effectivity of your topical.
A guide to edibles. How to dose and what to expect.
A beginner's guide to Edibles
Edibles are definitely a recreational favorite when it comes to the cannabis industry. Companies are infusing cannabis into brownies, cookies, chocolates, granola bars, nuts, beverages, and more. Basically if you can eat it, they’ve made a medible version. Not only are edibles a good recreational choice to save your lungs, but there may be other reasons you would choose an edible as well…
Why would I choose an Edible?
Eating or drinking your cannabis can be a great way to dose your THC or CBD without hurting your lungs! But thats only the tip of the iceberg.
Long Effect Time:
Some people also like to choose them because of their long effect time. Like going to family gatherings where they won’t be able to medicate for extended periods of time. This is because as the edible is digested through your lymphatic, metabolic and pancreatic tracts it provides you with a slow dosing effect. Most people report about a 4-10 hours of effect.
Staying asleep through the night:
Studies have shown that due to their long effect times, edibles may be beneficial to people who have issues staying asleep through the night. While the effects of smoking are immediate and only last a few hours, edibles last approximately 8hours (the perfect nights sleep!). This should keep you below the Dream/Wake threshold as you are about to come out of your first REM cycle. Ever taken an edible and just passed out? Thats what we are talking about.
Factor's to consider when choosing your Edible:
Dosage numbers: If you are new to dosing, we recommend you start with small doses, or a product that has a ratio of CBD in it to help mellow of the sensation. Many products out there, like mints, nuts and tinctures, allow for easy micro-dosing. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away.
What type of weed was it made from? Most edibles on the market are hybrids (meaning your energy level should stay the same), though some companies are making strain-specific batches. Going strain-specific or at least choosing between Sativa, Hybrid and Indica will give you a better idea of what your high will be like in the end.
How they infused the edible: The next factor is how they infuse the cannabis. If you are using this edible medicinally we recommend you find a product that is made with an RSO or Infused Canna-Butter or Canna-Coconut Oil. This is because you get all of the cannabinoids and sub-cannabinoids with Full Extract infusions, which is important for the full medicinal effect.
Another way people medicate edibles is to infuse with distillate extracts- this is the most common way. Recreational users will find excellent results with these products, but people with higher tolerance levels may find better results from a FECO (full extract cannabis oil) infusion.
They’re all delicious, but finding the right one for you can be important.
Figuring out my dosage
The OLCC has deemed 5mg of THC to be the *average* dosage.
All edibles are divided into a maximum of 5mg servings but that does not mean that is your dosage. For people sensitive to THC we suggest starting small and increase slowly, waiting between doses. It’s easier to add than to take away.
Remember that it can take 30-180 minutes for effects to be felt.
Please wait two hours before taking another dose.
Low and Slow.
Edibles can be a fun and delicious way to partake in cannabis, but be sure to figure out your dosage first! If you have any questions about what a dose for you might be, ask your budtender for their guidance. They are there to help.
Edibles dose you through your metabolic and digestive tracts, providing a steady release of cannabinoids for several hours. Most commonly from 4-8 hours.
Edibles can take approximately 2 hours to take effect.
Start low and go slow when trying to figure out your dosage.
What is a dab and why would I choose dabbing?
What is a dab?
Dabs are a form of cannabis concentrate that is extracted from the buds of the plant, most commonly by using butane, protane, C02 or simple heat. Extracts are normally smoked by placing them on a hot nail and inhaled. The most common place dabs you have seen are vape pens! That’s right, vaping is just the new tech-savy way to partake in dabbable extracts without a torch and dab rig.
Think of it like orange juice.
You can buy an organic orange and juice it. Or you can buy the organic concentrate.
The practice of concentrating medical herbs goes back centuries.
Prior to 2010 any dabbables made were not done in labs and were unregulated. Only now that we can study it has it become more regulated and it is only in recent years that it has gained popularity.
Why choose dabbing?
Dabbing has gained in popularity due to the fact that it is a form of vaping, and just like vape pens, it provides a gentler experience on the lungs when done correctly. Most dab rigs and nectar collectors offer a water reservoir similar to a bong- allowing for a water filtration process in addition to the vapor, making it even more gentle.
When you need a more potent dosage of a cannabinoid, dabbing could be a good choice, but it is not for the weak of heart. Because dabbing offers of mega-servings of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, it is most commonly utilized by long-time consumers with high tolerances, or those that suffer from intense or severe symptoms who have tried other methods, to no avail.
For new smokers or people who have lower tolerances, CBD dabbables and ratioed dabs are available on the market, though they are fewer and far between. Whether you are a novice consumer, or your body has a low tolerance threshold- choosing a more mildly psycho-active dab may be a good place to start.
How do I dab?
Dabbing is achieved by heating the nail until it is a red color. Wait approximately 20 seconds for the nail to cool down, you don’t want do intake vapor that is too hot. After those 20 seconds are over, inhale through the rig. You do not need to take a large dab, they call it dabbing for a reason. Just a little dab will do. Vaping should always be done at lower temperatures to preserve your terpenes.
Cool new Dab Pens make this easier as you only need to insert the concentrate, press the button and draw your vapor. There is no torch required for these vape pen alternatives, known most commonly as Dab Pens.
Things to watch out for:
Availability: Depending on your area, dabs may be available in THC or CBD, with other cannabinoids in smaller doses. It is important to note that dabs are incredibly potent so make sure you are sitting and drink a lot of water if you have never tried it before.
Gear: Most dab enthusiasts have their own dab rig and torch at home. We recommend a quartz nail, as the glass nails eventually break and the metal ones are hotter for your lungs. If you are intimidated by the dab rig and torch, there are other options out there! They are now making pens that you can drop the concentrate into, much like what you see with vape pens. This makes the process much more hassle-free for the consumer.
What else can I do with a dabbable? Good question! You can bake with them!
Simply add to your choice of saturated fat (be-it butter, coconut oil, et al) and melt together on a low heat! (Remember to measure out the amount of fat you need) and then add to your recipe! Are you wondering how to convert the % to mg? just move the decimal point over. If your dab is 69.5%THC, then it has 695mg. The average serving size according to the OLCC is 5mg of THC. Dose accordingly.
Dabbing can be an effective way to dose THC or CBD for people with more chronic issues that require higher doses, but it is not for the faint of heart!
Always keep water nearby, and for those of you trying it for the first time, make sure you are seated.
You just need a dab!
Intro to Vaping. The benefits that have made people start to carry pens again.
Intro to Vaping
Vaping has quickly become one of the most commonly used methods for intaking cannabis. It seems like almost everyone has a vape pen these days. But what would make you choose to want to start vaping cannabis?
They are better for your lungs:
Vaping cannabis uses convection instead of combustion. This means that instead of an open flame, you are just using a heating element (dabbing is a form of vaping too).
True to its name, this puts off a vapor instead of a smoke. Where smoke can be irritating for our lungs, vapor is much gentler. This has allowed people with lung irritation issues, like asthma, a better way to consume cannabis!
Certain types of cartridges, called distillates, allow you to also bypass the fats and lipids that are found in the buds, providing you with a cleaner smoke and doing even less irritation to your lungs.
Often chosen for their discretion:
Cartridges are a great way to take your cannabis on the go without calling attention to it. People love to carry them because of the lack of noticeable smoke odor.
They have a higher THC/CBD content:
Which far surpasses the average percentage found in flower. This allows the consumer to cut back on their smoking time while achieving the same effect.
Things to watch out for:
Keep in mind that not all cartridges are the same. Many companies like to add flavors to their cartridges. To do this they are also adding filler oils, like propylene glycol (also known as PG). This compound works as a great carrier for artificial flavors, but is the component that gives people popcorn lung. Make sure to ask if your cartridge is made with any filler oils, PG’s, or artificial flavors.
You have probably heard about heavy metals in vape pens. Many vape pens have tested positive for heavy metals. This is most commonly due to the hardware they put their oil in, and not the oil themselves. However be wary of cheap cartridges- these prices normally reflect that the manufacturer has cut costs. We source all of our cartridges, but not all dispensaries do!
Remember that anytime you put anything in your lungs, it is bad for your lungs. Vaping is just one of the best methods. If you want to be the kindest to your lungs, consider a tincture or an edible!
Vaping can help save your lungs from some of the irritations that come from smoking cannabis. Remember that not all cartridges are the same. The quality of the oil and the cartridge itself play a huge role in the way it will effect you.
To find out more about how vaping can be beneficial to your health, peruse our other articles. There are a lot of good resources out there. We’ve took the liberty of providing you with links to some quality information below!
Why choose cannabis? The benefits that made for a huge shift in the people’s choice of medication.
Why Choose Cannabis?
Cannabis could aid us in so many ways, but due governmental limitations we have been unable to study it until recent years. Now that we can finally research it with more depth, we are discovering that there are a multitude of potential benefits…
Consumers have been seeking out this plant in an attempt to deal with stress, anxiety, depression and appetite-loss. Researchers are studying the possible benefits of marijuana to mitigate and control chronic pain, digestion and insomnia, though these studies are not complete. And that is only putting our toe in the water.
The main reason for the big change is the switch to conscious consumerism. People want less chemicals entering their bodies. This means moving away from pharmaceuticals, with all the side-effects and dependency, to something more natural.
But there are so many words out there! CBD, CBD, Terpenes, Cannabinoids. Where do you start? Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the web, so checking your sourcing and making sure your information is coming from a reputable source is important.
Whether you need a tincture, topical, RSO or flower will vary depending on your needs. There are also a number of other factors to take into consideration. Ratios of CBD and THC will be unique to you as well. Cannabinoids that are lesser-known, like CBD, CBG, and CBN, will play a key role in your recovery. The terpenes of the strain you are using are another factor to consider. All of these variables together determine the ultimate effect of the strain/product.
The important thing to remember is that your friends favorite strain may not be for you. Our budtenders take the time to learn about you and help you find the strain that best suits your needs. Your budtender can be your best resource, and you are ours- your feedback helps us to tell others what is working!
To find out more about how marijuana could be beneficial, peruse our other articles. There are a lot of good resources out there. We’ve took the liberty of providing you with links to some quality information below!